Friday, October 31, 2014 Headlines & Global News

Jodi Arias Trial Update: Defense Attorneys Request Two Heavily-Covered Events Stay Out of the Courtroom

By Maxine Wally | Feb 21, 2014 02:46 PM EST

Arias 2
Convicted murderer Jodi Arias returned to court today for a closed-door hearing. (Photo : Reuters)

Jodi Arias' defense team is trying hard to keep two heavily-covered events out of the Maricopa County Superior Courtroom.

Lawyers have filed two motions with the court as of Feb. 13, requesting Judge Sherry Stephens prevent the retrial jury from hearing about Jodi Arias' attempt to switch out her attorney and claims that Arias wanted to kill prosecutor Juan Martinez.

The first motion calls for Judge Stephens to keep a 15-page letter written by Arias on Oct. 22 out of the jury's sight. In the 33-year-old Arizona resident's request, she asked the judge to give her another defense attorney, saying she didn't trust lawyer Kirk Nurmi. She reportedly wrote that he didn't "like her," citing an "utter poverty of people skills."

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One of the new motions states that both of Arias lawyers will have to step away from the case if the retrial jury catches wind of Arias' request for a new defense attorney, the Phoenix New Times reported.

"Ms. Arias draws the Court's attention to this rule because of the claims and/or assertions contained in Ms. Arias' Motion to Change Counsel are somehow deemed relevant and in turn admissible, both of Ms. Arias' attorneys would then become witness as they would then have relevant perspective on the claims and/or assertions Ms. Arias' made in this motion," the legal document reads. "Thus...both of Ms. Arias' attorneys would be ethically bound to withdraw. This withdrawal then would interfere with the rights due Ms. Arias..."

The second portion of the request asks that allegations made by Arias' former cellmate Cassandra Thea Collins be omitted from the case.

Collins revealed to FOX-10 News during a November interview that Arias was "dangerous" and reportedly made threats to slit the throat of the prosecutor who wanted to give her the death sentence.

"She said if she's given a death sentence, she wanted to get her revenge," Collins said at the time. "She [said she knew] inmates on the outs to do a mafia bowtie. Cut his throat. I really think she would try to hurt someone."

The motion states that Collins didn't have any real proof to back her comments, and she "was found criminally incompetent to stand trial and had mental health problems of such severity that she was involuntarily committed to a mental health facility."

Arias, who was found guilty of killing former lover Travis Alexander in his Mesa home, will soon stand trial, but Judge Stephens hasn't set a rescheduling date just yet. 

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